Fifteen-To-One Schools (Channel 4, 1999)
Because I am a big fan of the great game show Fifteen-To-One, I have decided to review all the various spin-offs that were shown over the years including the revival, the celebrity special, the millennium special, the champion of champions special, and this, the schools series.
In the summer of 1999 there was a series of Fifteen-To-One for schools, where sixth-formers from 108 schools all over the UK competed, and for this series the show had a different format. It was the only time that the contestants were divided into three teams of five and there was a scoring system.
In the first round, each contestant faced two questions and there was no conferring. If they got it right they scored ten points, but if they got it wrong, they scored no points, there were no lives used at this point. In the second round, more questions were asked, this time with ten points for a correct answer, five points if they got the correct answer after conferring, and no points for an incorrect answer.
The three teams then took the points that they had scored into the final, and nominated one of their team members to play. In the final, there was no question or nominate, there were 30 questions and they were all on the buzzer with ten points for a correct answer. However, now the three lives rule came into play, so if anyone did get three questions wrong they would be knocked out and lose all their points, but I can’t recall this happening.
The team with the highest score then went on to the finals board. The nine highest scoring teams in the series would then go through to three semi-finals, and the winners of those would then go into the grand final, with the overall winning school receiving a trophy. The eventual winners were Audenshaw School who won the final with 290 points, and the top of the finals board winners were the Royal Belfast Academical Institution with 365 points.
This was an interesting variation on the regular format and as ever William G Stewart hosted the show well, with the usual various range of challenging questions, and it was good seeing some younger people show off their general knowledge talents. However, disappointingly there was only ever one series made of the schools version, and some people felt the game was weakened a little by the de-emphasis on the three lives rule, but overall it was still an enjoyable series.